Saturday, August 8, 2009

Real Canadiana: Jason Plumb & the Willing

When people talk about consummate Canadian songwriters, Neil Young seems to always pop up. Never mind he's lived in the U.S. for maybe 40 years and often writes about the American government. Others might throw out the Tragically Hip or the Rheostatics. But I'll nominate Jason Plumb as the real deal. Recently Jason Plumb & the Willing released Wide Open: Songs for Sakatchewan, which is obviously a ploy to break it big in the States. Kidding. Plumb's just doing what he does, which happens to include prairie references. It's a cool record because Plumb & the Willing include live versions of some fine songs you probably missed as well as revisit Waltons' tunes such as Empire on the Plains, Wascana, and Middle of Nowhere from the underrated Empire Hotel disc.

Get Drive (live) for nothing here. The next song isn't on the new album, but it was also recorded in my living room. Okay, it wasn't my living room, I think it was Stephen Harper's.

And here we have...a Neil Young Cover! Yes, maybe Mr. Plumb is claiming the prairie singer/songwriter mantle Neil ditched.

Plumb is probably never going to be a rock star, because he won't beat up Perez Hilton, be photographed scarfing drugs with Pete Doherty, Kate Moss, or April Winehouse, or get arrested for beating up a hooker. But he might keep making quality music if you see him live or buy some music from him. Check out a show, he's got a good sense of humour and his band is pretty good, too.

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